Friday, August 15, 2014

First Few Days at the MTC

These last few days have been great. This is our first Preparation Day, but this is only my third day here.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I believe I'll have some by next Friday.

I've been called as the District Leader of our small band of 8 missionaries. I've found out that there are two other districts of English-speaking missionaries en route to Toronto, Canada, for a total of 25 of us. They're a fun group. We tend to eat together. The food's pretty good - just like the Cannon Center at BYU. I've been drinking probably 5 glasses of chocolate milk with every meal. :)

My district has been nothing but supportive. They're great. You can really feel the Spirit in the classroom when the Elders or Sisters share their thoughts. We're all going through the same challenges, so it's great to have someone to talk to about those challenges.

From what I understand from the amount of paperwork I've been given relative to others, the District Leader is the busiest calling you can get here as a missionary. My companion's put up with me admirably. I'm doing just fine keeping up with all the work. My time at college and growing up in the church has prepared me well. 

My companion is Elder Bernards. He's great, and I'm not just saying that because he's sitting next to me in a position to where he can totally read what I'm writing. We get along well and have several shared interests. We both played the saxophone in high school, and we both enjoy running. He's from Layton, Utah, so he's not from too far either. He hasn't given me any trouble. I'm still working on getting him to speak up when we talk with "investigators."

These first few days in the MTC, we've mainly been focused on learning the missionary purpose. It goes as follows: I'm here to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

The one thing I've really noticed here is that you can feel the Spirit in almost everything you do. I've done some things that I don't think I would've before. Most notably, is that when meeting with "investigators" in workshops, we've covered topics that, personally, have never been a concern in my life. For example, the topic of the age of accountability and how infant baptism is unnecessary just isn't something that I've ever worried about. I've always just accepted it as true since that's what I've learned in church. It never really bothered me one way or the other. However, as a missionary, I've learned that I need to have a sincere testimony of the things I teach, and that those random topics really do come up. So, because of this, at night I've been praying for confirmation that the things we're covering are true. I've received such confirmation through the Spirit. I can say that I know, for sure, that infants don't need to be baptised and that they can return to live with Heavenly Father again. I don't think that I would've been able to say that before, mainly since it had never come up. But now I know those things, because I have a strong feeling in my heart that they are true. That's definitely been a growing experience for me. 

I'm really surprised that we've been encouraged to invite investigators to be baptized within the first (or sometimes second) discussion with them. That definitely still feels sudden to me. 

I ran into Elder Griffin, Elder Clair, and Sister Mortensen from Lehi. Also, I saw Elder Roberts, my ex-roommate from BYU, here. He's going to Colorado. 

Overall, I'm doing just fine here in the MTC. I haven't really had any struggles. Everything's come pretty easily. As I mentioned, I've been well prepared. I know that especially with the Lord's help, I can accomplish everything that I need to. I'm still adjusting to the missionary schedule, but what fresh missionary isn't? 

I love you all and I'm excited to head off to Canada.

-Elder Crye

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